Cathedral Events

Sunday, March 24, 2013 4 PM

Bach’s St. John Passion

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On Palm Sunday, witness the energy and grandeur of J.S. Bach’s St. John Passion. Composed at the height of his powers, this oratorio is one of Bach’s most deeply affecting and grandly dramatic masterworks. The narrative tells the story of Jesus Christ’s final suffering, death, burial, and resurrection.

The Washington National Cathedral Combined Choirs and Baroque Orchestra perform under conductor Canon Michael McCarthy with soloists Rufus Müller, evangelist; Brendan Curran, Christus; Elizabeth Cragg, soprano; Roger Isaacs, countertenor; Nicholas Phan, tenor; and Christòphoren Nomura, bass.

The concert runs just shy of 2 hours.

About Elizabeth Cragg

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Elizabeth Cragg, soprano, has current and future plans that include Ninette in L’Amour des trois oranges with Nederlandse Opera; West End Musicals concert with Carl Davis and the Hallé Orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall; Bach’s Magnificat with the Northern Sinfonia at the Sage, Gateshead; and Messiah with Harrogate Choral Society.

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About Brendan Curran

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Brendan Curran, baritone, is a native of Fairbanks, Alaska. Staff Sergeant Curran serves his country as a member of the Soldiers’ Chorus of the United States Army Field Band. He holds degrees in vocal performance from the University of Northern Colorado and Peabody Conservatory. Never content to stay in one place, Curran’s career spans the nation. As a young artist, he performed with Portland Opera, San Diego Opera, and Opera North in New Hampshire. He has entertained audiences in the Washington area as a featured soloist with Peabody Opera, Concert Artists of Baltimore, the Chester River Chorale, and Hood College. He is a member of the Men’s Choir of Washington National Cathedral. In recent years, SSG Curran was featured in the Cathedral’s Lenten series, performing solos in the Duruflé Requiem and J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.

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About Roger O. Isaacs

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Roger O. Isaacs, countertenor, hails from Cape Town, South Africa, where he completed his music education at the South African College of Music, University of Cape Town. He enjoyed a highly successful solo career in his native country performing repertoire from the early music genre to works by twentieth-century composers. Isaacs has to his credit numerous television and radio appearances with the South African Broadcasting Corporation, including the world premier of Peter Klatzow’s African Mass.

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About Rufus Müller

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This British-German tenor was acclaimed by the New York Times following a performance in Carnegie Hall as “…easily the best tenor I have heard in a live Messiah.” He is celebrated as the Evangelist in Bach’s Passions, and his unique dramatic interpretation of this rôle has confirmed his status as one of the world’s most sought-after performers. He gave the world premiere of Jonathan Miller’s acclaimed production of the St. Matthew Passion, which he also recorded for United and broadcast on BBC TV; he repeated the role in three revivals of the production at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York (“a sensational Evangelist” &mdashNew York Times). Rufus is also a leading recitalist, performing worldwide with pianist Maria João Pires.

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About Christòpheren Nomura

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Christòpheren Nomura, baritone, has been hailed as one of classical music’s “rising stars” by the Wall Street Journal. He has earned a prominent place on operatic, concert, and recital stages. He has appeared at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Boston’s Celebrity Series, the Kennedy Center, and San Francisco Performances, where he was artist-in-residence. He has sung at many prominent American festivals including Ravinia, Santa Fe, Marlboro, Tanglewood, La Jolla, Spoleto U.S.A., and Music@Menlo. In opera, Nomura is a noted Mozartean. He has likewise had a strong association with Puccini’s Madama Butterfly and made his film debut in the Martin Scorsese movie. He has sung major roles with Philadelphia Orchestra, Dallas Opera, Seattle Opera, Hawaii Opera, and Opera Carolina and has appeared with the Boston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra, performing under such renowned conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Seiji Ozawa, James Conlon, Sergiu Comissiona, Roger Norrington, Christopher Hogwood, Paul Goodman, and Ton Koopman. Also a noted Bach specialist, Nomura has been a frequent performer with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, the Carmel Bach Festival, and Handel & Haydn Society. A Grammy Award nominee, his recordings appear on the Sony, Dorian, Teldec, London, Denon, TDK, L’oiseau Lyre, Well-Tempered Productions, and Center Stage Records labels.

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About Nicholas Phan

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In the 2012-013 season, American tenor Nicholas Phan returns to the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, and Alabama Symphony Orchestra. He also appears in concert with the Cleveland Orchestra, Cincinnati Symphony, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and in Carnegie Hall, the National Arts Center in Ottawa, and the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

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About Canon Michael McCarthy

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In the summer of 2003 Michael McCarthy was appointed Cathedral director of music. As director of music Michael oversees the Cathedral’s expanding music program, as well as serves as principal choirmaster.

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Recent Cathedral Appearances

Parking at the Cathedral

Parking in the Cathedral’s underground garage is free on Sundays for services and organ recitals; parking for concerts and programs is available for an event-parking fee. Learn more about parking options for individuals and groups.